Redshirt sophomore A.J. Alexander’s Ohio State football career is over due to the knee injury that he suffered in the spring, which also cost him the entire 2017 season. He played in every game as a redshirt freshman in 2016 and was a valuable second tight end on running plays.
According to Ohio State, he will be placed on medical scholarship.
Alexander spent this past spring as the No. 1 tight end while starter Marcus Baugh recovered from shoulder surgery. Alexander was outstanding during the spring, prompting Urban Meyer to remark that the position had improved greatly over the course of camp.
Alexander’s departure comes on the heels of the transfer of redshirt freshman tight end Kierre Hawkins to Youngstown State, which Hawkins has announced on social media. Ohio State has confirmed his departure as well.
The Buckeyes will break spring camp with three tight ends — redshirt junior Rashod Berry and redshirt sophomores Luke Farrell and Jake Hausmann. They will be joined in the fall by the nation’s top tight end recruit, Jeremy Ruckert.
Berry would appear to be the favorite to start, provided he is not called back to the defensive side of the ball (and also continues to harness the necessary consistency that a larger role would require.) He has caught six passes for 100 yards with two touchdowns this season, including one of the highlight plays of the entire year.
Rashod Berry ?????????? pic.twitter.com/1XLGNI4AwP
— Tony Gerdeman (@TonyGerdeman) September 23, 2017
Farrell has caught two passes for nine yards this season and Hausmann has not yet recorded a reception. Farrell has played in eight games this season, and Hausmann just three. Both were two of the most highly-sought tight end recruits in the 2016 class.
Ohio State has also recently offered local 2018 defensive end Alex Williams, who at 6-foot-7 and 250 pounds could get an immediate look at defensive end if the need arises.